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USOC rekindles Kellogg sponsorship

USOC rekindles Kellogg sponsorship

The U.S. Olympic Committee reunited with longtime sponsor Kellogg on Monday in a multi-million-dollar deal.
The deal runs through the 2016 Olympics and falls into the category of the USOC's bigger sponsorships, which are usually worth more than $10 million over a four-year period.
Kellogg had a business relationship with the Olympics from 1976-92 and with the USOC from 2000-08 but left the fold after the Beijing Games _ part of an exodus of key USOC sponsors that forced the federation to scramble.
An important part of the deal includes placing the company's products at Olympic training centers and other team venues.
The USOC, looking for new ways to lure sponsors, made this deal more attractive by connecting Kellogg with other Olympic sponsors _ including Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch and Proctor and Gamble _ so they can work together on Olympic marketing programs.
At about the same time Kellogg left, the USOC was also stung by the departure of companies such as General Motors, Home Depot and Bank of America. Slowly, the USOC has found new sponsors in some of these categories _ BMW and Citigroup _ while looking into new markets for other promotional ties.
However, a number of the federation's sponsorship deals end after the London Olympics, which keeps the marketing department busy as it tries to fill major holes. Without government subsidies, the USOC must fund Olympic athletes largely through the money it makes in sponsorship deals.
"I'm optimistic," chief marketing officer Lisa Baird said. "We've gotten a lot of good news lately. Clearly, our partners in the market are responding. They're excited about our prospects for London. There's a lot of excitement in the market about that."